You may be surprised to learn that apple cider can be used to create Mimosas, Martinis, and even Manhattan cocktails.
As the rich base for cocktails, you can use it in bulk to create Mulled Apple Cider or Punch, and a different twist on Sangria.
This is ideal for fall parties and there are even recipes to use for Halloween if you want to really have a bash that goes down well.
In this guide, we will look at 20 of the very best apple cider cocktails (see also our favorite fall cocktails). There is also a bonus section for variations on classic cocktails that you may not expect can be made with apple cider.
If you have a bottle of Tennessee Honey Whiskey (see also ‘13 Best Peanut Butter Whiskey Drinks‘) and you are wondering what to do with it then create an Apple Cider Honey Martini.
First, wet the rim of a Martini glass then dip it into a bowl of cinnamon sugar.
Combine the whiskey with freshly squeezed lemon juice, apple cider, and a pinch of cinnamon in a cocktail shake filled with ice.
Shake it up then strain it into your rimmed glass and garnish with a slice of apple.
For a delicious winter warming apple cider cocktail, create a batch of Mulled Apple Cider.
Start by infusing maple syrup and apple cider with cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, allspice berries, orange, and lemon peel.
Bring it close to a boil then simmer for half an hour. Serve the cider in mugs and you can splash in some dark rum (see also ‘23 Classic Rum Cocktails For The Summer‘) for a moreish kick.
You may be wondering what to do with that bottle of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey, well worry no more.
Drop a few ice cubes into a highball glass then pour in your whiskey and apple cider.
Stir to combine then drizzle in cherry grenadine syrup and it should create a red streak in the glass. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry or some apple slices and enjoy this winter warmer.
Sangria (see also ‘20 Top Sangria Recipes To Get You Summer Ready!‘) is typically made with red wine and mixed with apple cider creating a deliciously moreish drink, ideal for fall.
In a pitcher, mix a bottle of fruity red wine (Grenache, Pinot Noir, or Tempranillo will work) with apple cider and Grand Marnier (see also ‘20 Great Grand Marnier Cocktails‘).
The mixture works best if you leave it to chill overnight before throwing in cardamom pods, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise.
Pour it carefully into glasses and you can even use the star anise or cinnamon stick for a garnish.
Another apple cider cocktail you can make in bulk is Apple Pie Punch.
In a pitcher, combine apple cider, pear juice, spiced rum, and cinnamon schnapps then leave to chill in the refrigerator.
You can heat up the apple cider and pear juice and serve it warm to serve in a mug.
For the chilled version, pour into a glass and serve with thin apple slices as a garnish.
Another variation of an apple-based punch is Harvest Apple Cider Punch which can be the centerpiece for a party in fall.
Find a large punch bowl and combine apple cider with pear juice, vodka, and ginger beer, you can throw in the bottle of Prosecco if the punch is ready to be served.
Stir it thoroughly then add in your slices of apple and orange with cinnamon sticks and pomegranate seeds.
Pour into glasses though you can chill this for a few hours, though add the Prosecco (see also ‘26 Super Simple Prosecco Cocktails‘) just before serving and add ice.
To create a Cinnamon Vodka Apple Cider cocktail (see also ‘The 26 Classic Vodka Cocktails You Must Try‘), you will first need to create a batch of cinnamon syrup by infusing cinnamon sticks with sugar and water over a high heat.
Once cool, wet the rim of your glass with an orange wedge then dip in cinnamon sugar.
Fill the cocktail shaker with ice then add your cinnamon sugar syrup, vodka, apple cider, freshly squeezed orange, and grapefruit juice.
Shake it up then pour it into an ice-filled glass and garnish with orange and apple slices with a sprinkling of cinnamon.
You will need that cinnamon syrup for a batch of Bourbon Apple Cider too.
In a cocktail shaker with ice, shake together equal parts of bourbon and apple cider with freshly squeezed lemon juice, your cinnamon syrup, and a dash of Angostura orange bitters.
Once chilled, pour the cocktail over ice in a highball glass and serve with orange peel for a garnish.
An Apple Cider Mimosa is the ideal greeting drink for a Thanksgiving party or a wedding in the fall.
For an extravagant touch, wet the rim of each flute in water then dip in some gold or silver sprinkles.
Pour in your apple cider until each flute is around three-quarters full then top with Champagne. For a simple garnish, add a slice of apple.
There is not a huge amount of difference between an Apple Cider Mimosa and an Apple Cider Bellini but the latter does take a bit more effort.
The day before serving, combine Champagne balsamic vinegar with a peeled and diced apple.
When the bellinis are due to be served, grab a pitcher and combine equal parts sparkling water, apple cider, and
Prosecco. Place some of your Champagne balsamic vinegar-soaked diced apple in the flute then top with your Bellini mix.
If you have a bottle of caramel-infused vodka then Caramel Apple Cider is definitely a recipe to try it with.
Simply combine the vodka with apple juice in a highball glass by stirring together. Use an apple slice or cinnamon stick for an effective garnish.
You can also serve this warm by simply microwaving the cocktail in a mug.
For an apple cider cocktail that works well as a winter warmer, try this Spiked Mulled Apple Cider.
Start by mulling the apple cider with spices, orange slices, and apple slices in a pot. Cook until the cider has infused which may take around half an hour.
Strain the cider into a mug then add bourbon before serving and stir it to combine then garnish with orange slices or cinnamon sticks.
Just like a regular Moscow Mule, this cocktail is best served in a copper mug filled with ice.
Use a mixing glass to combine apple cider, ginger beer, freshly squeezed lime juice, and vodka.
Once fully incorporated, pour into your copper mug and garnish with a cinnamon stick, apple slice, or even a sprig of rosemary.
If you are a fan of Snow White then you should want to create this Apple Cider Poison, especially at Halloween.
Fill your cocktail shaker with ice then throw in apple cider, spiced rum, pomegranate juice, and grenadine. Shake it up then strain it into a chilled glass.
There is a bit of preparation involved in creating an Apple Cider Martini.
Begin by wetting the rim of the Martini glass with water and dipping it in a mixture of Graham Cracker crumbs with brown sugar and cinnamon.
Drop some apple cider, simple syrup, vodka, vanilla extract, cinnamon schnapps, apple pie spice, a pinch of salt, and some ice cubes into a cocktail shaker.
Vigorously shake then strain the cocktail into your prepared Martini glass.
A Dark and Stormy does not have to be restricted to summer, you can make one for fall too.
Fill your cocktail shaker with ice and add equal parts bourbon (see also ‘Bourbon Cocktails: 30 Of The Best‘) and apple cider with freshly squeezed lemon juice then shake well.
Strain the mixture into your serving glass with a few ice cubes and top with ginger beer. You can also use a cinnamon stick or an apple slice for a garnish.
You can also make an Old Fashioned with apple cider as the underlying ingredient.
Add some dark brown sugar to a serving glass with a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters, some water, and a slice of orange peel to muddle together.
Drop in your favorite bourbon, and apple cider then a few ice cubes, stir, and enjoy.
Ok, this whiskey sour does not include an egg white frothy top but is sweet and sour all in one.
Start by creating thin apple slices and dipping each one in cinnamon sugar.
In a cocktail shaker, add ice to whiskey, simple syrup, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and apple cider.
Once chilled, pour it into a rocks glass filled with ice then garnish with an apple slice. You can even sprinkle on some more cinnamon sugar.
Another apple cider cocktail that is ideal for fall is an Apple Cider Bourbon Smash.
Muddle up some mint leaves, cinnamon simple syrup (like the batch you can make in the recipe for Cinnamon Vodka Apple Cider), and freshly squeezed lemon juice in a glass.
Shake the mixture over crushed ice which should dissolve the syrup. Strain the cocktail into a rocks glass filled with ice and garnish with an apple slice.
For an Apple Cider Manhattan, you will need to create a cider syrup but remember that you can use this in all sorts of apple cider cocktails.
Simply boil up some apple cider, simmer until it has reduced then allow to cool.
Once you are ready for your cocktail, fill a shaker with ice and add bourbon, sweet vermouth, cider syrup, and Angostura orange bitters.
Stir until chilled then strain into a chilled rocks glass then garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Bonus: Unexpected Variations
While you may already be surprised that you can make an Apple Cider Manhattan or Moscow Mule, there are several other unexpected variations of cocktails that use apple cider.
The Mojito is revamped for a late summer twist, the Margarita still uses tequila but with a cinnamon sugar rim and the Apple Gin and Tonic is pretty self-explanatory.
Yes, a Mojito can be created using apple cider too, and is especially appropriate in late summer.
Start by muddling together mint leaves with lime wedges and rum in a highball glass.
Throw in some ice cubes then spiced apple cider to the top and garnish with a cinnamon stick or a slice of apple.
Creating a Margarita with apple cider is reassuringly simple.
Instead of a salty rim, you can wet the rim of your glass with apple cider (an orange or lime wedge would work too) and then dip it in cinnamon sugar.
In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, shake together tequila, apple cider, agave nectar, freshly squeezed orange juice (see also ‘24 Refreshing Cocktails Made With Orange Juice‘), and a pinch of ground cinnamon.
Pour into your glass, taking care not to touch the rim, and add some ice.
That’s right, you can make an Apple Gin and Tonic though you will need some apple cider syrup which is featured in the recipe for an Apple Cider Manhattan.
Pour in some syrup to a highball glass filled with ice then add gin and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Top it all up with tonic water and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Before you head off to create your own apple cider cocktails, make sure you get the right ingredients.
Not just the cinnamon sugar, the tequila, or the Champagne but the right apple cider.
For these recipes, you will need the pure, unfiltered apple juice that is only derived from apples rather than the sparkling alcoholic apple drink you can buy in some stores.
If you were to shake that in a cocktail shaker, the pressure may be too much and you could create a mess.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Apple Cider?
There may be some confusion with the definition of apple cider depending on which side of the Atlantic Ocean you happen to be on.
In the United States, apple cider is unfiltered apple juice that is 100% pure and only made from apples.
However, in the UK apple cider is a sparkling and alcoholic apple drink that is served on its own in a bar alongside lager and stout (see also ‘25 Easy And Simple Mexican Lager Recipes You Must Try‘).
What Are Some Typical Mixers For Apple Cider?
Certain spirits go really well with apple cider and these include tequila, rye whiskey, and bourbon.
You can also mix apple cider with beer or create a range of cocktails with just a few other ingredients including citrus fruit juice.